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BASSANI, ISRAEL BENJAMIN:

Rabbi at Reggio, Italy; born in 1703; died at Reggio Jan. 20, 1790 (5 Shebaṭ, 5550); son of Isaiah Bassani. He was a skilful poet, both in Hebrew and in Italian. In honor of Francisco III. of Este, duke of Modena, Bassani composed eighty elegant Hebrew poems, to which he affixed Italian versions, in ottava rima (Venice, 1750). Many other poems of his are contained in the "Kol 'Ugab" of A. B. Piperno; among them may be mentioned especially the thirty sestinas on electricity (ib. 36b, below; 37b), Bassani is also the author of "La Corona Estense," Venice, 1753, a collection of sonnets in Hebrew, with a translation into Italian verse, dedicated to Francisco III., duke of Este; and "Moda'ah" (Announcement), Leghorn, 1771, a letter concerning the case of I. Natof. He also published "Todat Shelamim" (Thank-Offerings,) Venice, 1741, a collection of various halakic writings. In the archives of the Jewish community of Reggio, there are hundreds of Bassani's Hebrew letters and several volumes of responsa and Hebrew sermons, besides a work on the principles regulating the Jewish calendar. A eulogistic biographical sketch of Bassani was written by Benedetto Frizzi (Ferrara, 1791).

Bibliography:
  • A. B. Piperno, Kol 'Ugab, p. 84b;
  • Zedner, Cat. Hebr. Books Brit. Mus.
L. G. V. C.
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